Behavior and Development
InteliHealth Medical Content
These conditions are not ADHD, but they look a lot like it:
- Learning disabilities. Children with learning disabilities typically have normal intelligence, but may score lower than expected on homework assignments and tests at school, just like children with ADHD. When they get frustrated at school, these children may also act up or become disruptive.
- Attention lapses caused by seizures. In certain types of seizures, a child may gaze off into space or appear to be daydreaming. If your doctor suspects a seizure, he may perform an EEG test to make the diagnosis and consider medicine to control the number of seizures.
- Medications. Certain allergy and some seizure medicines can cause hyperactive behavior. Check the labels on your child’s medications, or ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects.
- Sleep problems. Children who are often unusually overtired, such as those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), may have difficulty concentrating and appear to have ADHD. OSA is a condition that often involves snoring. If your child is hyperactive and snores at night, he may need to be evaluated for OSA.
- Vision or hearing problems. A child who has trouble seeing or hearing will have trouble paying attention in school. A formal hearing and vision evaluation can rule out these problems.
- Anxiety and depression. Children who are anxious or depressed about something often have trouble paying attention in school. If your child shows signs of anxiety or depression, it is very important to have him evaluated.